Getting a wrestling promotion off the ground isn’t easy and riding the early choppy waters is a chore for anyone looking to tackle the task.
Mikey Blanton has gotten through the first year as promoter of Black Label Pro experiencing the ups and downs — though the ups are coming far more frequently as the promotion picks up steam in its native Crown Point, Ind. and on Powerbomb.tv.
“There was some choppy waters we were in for a little while because we had to switch buildings temporarily and then we went back,” Blanton said while guest co-host on Cageside Seats’ Bitter Boys Club podcast. “It was just kind of like we were starting to get our legs then. Now it’s a lot better. Every show we have a little bit more people coming and it seems to be picking up steam.”
BLP has always leaned on a unique approach to shows, using PCO prior to his breakout at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, putting on an amazing Faces of Fear vs. Nick Gage & Jimmy Lloyd match and generally aiming to have mass appeal without leaning on the same old matches.
Rather than referring to them as a “dream match promotion,” “fever dream match” may be more appropriate.
“A couple weeks ago, after our show, someone called us a “super indie” and I actually took offense to that because i don’t like the term “super indie” and I don’t want to be a super indie,” Blanton said. “The main reason we started this was i just wanted to see some weird shit. We all have a group of friends where we’re like, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be crazy if blah blah blah wrestled blah blah blah?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, we might as well do that and try it out.’”
While bringing in big names and having compelling cards is always key, how will BLP be able to continue to find underutilized talent to round out their shows?
“Very recently we decided to do a tryout show in February and I’ve watched so much of that footage because there’s so much hidden talent out there,” Blanton said. “You don’t need to book the same 10-15 people every time, there’s so much more out there.
“A lot of times people send me matches where, in their head, they think it’s their best match. But I want to see times where they don’t think it’s their best and how they’re getting over with the crowd, how they’re working with someone who might not work out stylistically with them because I like to think when you clash styles there could be some magic there.”
You can listen to the episode here:
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In the interest of full disclosure, Blanton and I are friends and I called on him to host the podcast with Ethan Page out for the week.